HDYDI – Meatballs, Quinoa, and Broccoli…oh my!

I did a 7 mile run on a MONDAY. Woah. I gave Jeff Galloway’s Run/Walk/Run method a try, and I am 100% sold. My legs don’t even feel like I ran this morning, let alone ran seven miles. I used a 4:1 ratio, and my overall pace was 11:23, which is nearly 20secs faster than my normal long run pace. Mind blown! This makes my goal of a half marathon at 2:30 completely, totally, and 100% possible! BRING IT ON!

I forgot to write my look ahead post yesterday. Oops. It turns out that was a good thing because the phone rang at 5:30 with a recording letting me know that Brown didn’t have school, which threw my whole week off track. The trace to two inches of snow we were supposed to get turned out to be closer to four inches. It only took me four tries to get out of my driveway to go to the gym this morning, after calling Blue in “hookie.” Brown and Blue love that word. The roads weren’t too bad though. I’m getting good at snow driving. As long as we have snow and no ice, I’m good.

Anyway, my “How do I do it?” post today will be to share a recipe. I cook from scratch whenever I can. And I LOVE meatballs. I used to buy frozen meatballs, but have you ever looked at what is in those suckers? MSG. Lots of sodium. And who knows where they get the meat for them? Ick. So I make my own meatballs and freeze them. Viola…meatballs whenever I want!

I adapted this recipe from the “Everday Italian Meatballs” from Eat What You Love by Marlene Koch. Awesome book. I should really own a personal copy because I check it out from work at least four times a year. I love this recipe because I always have all of the ingredients on hand.

My Meatballs

1 lbs lean ground beef
8 Ritz crackers (put in a ziplock bag and smash them with your hands, or let the kids do it!)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1.5 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 large egg
2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400.

Using a stand mixer, combine all ingredients together. If you don’t have a stand mixer, get one and mix your meatballs in it. It will blow your mind. Or use a bowl and spoon/hands, and dream of using a stand mixer.

Form into 1-ish-inch balls. I use a food scale and make 1.1oz meatballs. I’m a bit OCD about them. I usually get around 20-22 meatballs.

Place meatballs in an 8×11-inch baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until tops are browned and the meat is cooked through.

Ok…so you made meatballs, now what do you do with them? Most people probably think spaghetti and meatballs. Yes, we do this with them quite often. But what else can you do with them?

This is my current favorite thing in the world. I have eaten it for lunch at least 50% of the time for the last month. I wonder what I ate before I discovered the joy of quinoa and broccoli. I cook my quinoa in just chicken broth, and I steam my broccoli in my waterless cookware. Hello, lunch!ou could also make BBQ meatball sliders. Think cheddar cheese and King’s Hawaiian rolls. Or meatball subs with jarred pizza sauce and hoagie rolls. Or Swedish-style meatballs by making a simple beef gravy (remember, I’m dairy free) and serving it over egg noddles.

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So how do I do it? I keep homemade meatballs ready to go in the freezer at all times. 🙂

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Week 6

Running:
I completed week 3 of my half-marathon training plan without missing a single workout. That might be a first! I did 21 total miles and one elliptical workout. Awesome week! All of the runs were done on the treadmill because of the blasted polar vortex. Is it spring yet? I NEED to run outside! Oh…and I went to yoga today. I had to break in my new Nike studio wrap shoes. I will definitely be posting my thoughts on those. Preview…they are AWESOME!

House:
We got a new vacuum, and I am overly excited about it. We went with a Hoover Windtunnel bagless upright. I happened to flip open the latest Consumer Reports and it was their best buy for bagless uprights. Plus…it was about $450 less than the Dyson. WIN! So with the money we saved, we bought a carpet cleaner too, also a Hoover. I am thinking a review is in order. I am in love with both of my new house cleaning toys. Gah…I’m just a housewife!

Brown and Blue:
Thanks to Tuesday’s snowstorm that dumped nine inches of snow on us, the boys were out of school and speech on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was a hectic couple of days trying to find stuff to keep them occupied. We went outside and played in the snow on Tuesday, but Wednesday was just too cold.

Blue’s birthday is coming up at the end of the month, and he’s dragging his feet picking a theme and the dessert he wants mama to make. Hard to believe my baby is going to be FIVE. Part of turning five includes no more climbing in bed with mama. We’re working on it.

Books:
I read two books this week. A Dash of Magic by Kathryn Littlewood. It was a cute juvenile fiction book. It’s a second in a series, and the third one comes out next week. I also read The Devil’s Footprints by Amanda Stevens, who wrote one of my favorite series, The Graveyard Queen series. But I gotta say The Devil’s Footprints scared the crud out of me. It probably didn’t help that Daddy Man was out playing poker with the guys while I was in the meat of the book. It took a whole episode of Sherlock to calm down in order to get to sleep. Seriously scary book!

Ok…that’s all for this week!

Let’s Relax Friday – Gilmore Girls…where would they be now?

I ran 8 miles this morning! EIGHT! Longest run ever. It was tough, but I got it done, inside on a treadmill no less. I had my usual distraction of Gilmore Girls, which *still* airs on ABC Family at 10am central time. It’s been on at 10am for at least seven years because I used to watch it when I was pregnant with Brown. Is anyone else a Gilmore Girls fan? Even though I own every episode on DVD because the awesome Daddy Man bought me the entire series…the one in the cute suitcase style case, I still like to watch Gilmore Girls at 10am on ABC Family. I can easily say it’s my FAVORITE television show of all time.

Anyway…does anyone else have strange thoughts while running on the treadmill? I mean stranger than normal. I usually come up with awesome blog post ideas and then promptly forget about them during the rush to pick up a kid or get to work on my to-do list. But as I was running Monday and then again today on the treadmill, I thought about the Gilmore Girls and began wondering what all the characters would be up to today. So I jumped on to Google to figure out how old they would all be now.

Gilmore Girls aired from 2000-2007. Rory graduated from Chilton in 2003 and from Yale in 2007. She was born October 8, 1984. Lorelei’s birthday is sometime in April 1968. Rory would turn 30 this year, just a year behind me. Lorelei would turn 46 this year. And Richard and Emily Gilmore would probably be in the their early 70s by now.

When we left them, Rory was off to be a journalist on Obama’s campaign. And Lorelei was standing in the street, on the verge of reuniting with Luke. So where would they be now?

Rory – I’d like to think that Rory is finally a writer for the New York Times. As for who she ends up with, I have two theories. I think she is either with Jess, who also lives in New York. Or maybe she finally realized that leaving Logan was a bad idea, and they compromised on Logan moving to New York. My vote would be for Logan. Maybe they just got married and are talking kids.

Lorelei – She’s still living in Stars Hollow, still running the Dragonfly, and still with Luke. I think they had a beautiful wedding at the Dragonfly. I don’t see them having any more kids, but they would be happy. VERY happy. Luke’s daughter April would be turning 21.

Lane and Zack- I see them still living in Stars Hollow, running the music store and still playing with their band every now and then. The twins would be turning 8…woah.

Sookie and Jackson – Sookie was pregnant in the last season. Davie would be 11, Martha would be 9, and the third kid (which we never learned the sex of…stupid Gilmore Girls producers!) would be 7. Sookie is still the chef at the Dragonfly and Jackson is still gardening.

Richard and Emily – Richard has probably retired, maybe selling his company or maybe Logan is running it now. I see them doing a bit of traveling. Friday night dinners aren’t as regular, but they are still happening once a month or so.

Gosh, I miss that show. It ended so abruptly. There was talk for a bit of a Gilmore Girls movie, but I think too much time has passed. Plus, I am enjoying Lauren Graham on Parenthood. Oh Parenthood…how I love thee!

Am I the only weirdo that is *this* obsessed with Gilmore Girls? Or maybe I just get a little crazy doing long runs on the treadmill.

Runnerd, Geek Out! – I want to RUN!

People seem to think I am a serious athlete because in the last three months, I have become the go-to person for running questions. Several people have asked me for advice on how to start running. So here we go…

Step 1: Find a running store and get fitted for running shoes. Running in the right shoe will make a big difference. Your feet will feel better. Your legs will feel better. My local running store, GoRun Wichita, has a treadmill with a camera attached to the back that they use to take slow-mo images of your feet while you run to evaluate your stride. I overpronate a bit, so they put me in a guidance shoe. I currently wear a Saucony Guide 7. It’s truly my Goldilocks shoe. It fits JUST right. And while running can be a fairly affordable sport, be prepared to drop around $100 for a good pair of running shoes.

Step 2: Get at least one or two nice running outfits. I have a theory that if you look and feel good in what you are wearing, you will have a good run. Stick with synthetic, wicking fabrics. Cotton is not a runner’s friend. If you plan on running outside year round, you’ll want to invest in a pair of nice winter running tights, a long sleeve base layer, a long sleeve top layer, running gloves, and a warm headband.

Step 3: If you are a woman, get a good running bra! PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! I see women all the time at the gym running on the treadmills that I swear they are *this* close to giving themselves a black eye with their own boobs. My weight loss has robbed me of my previously well-endowed chest, but I still wear a good high impact bra. My favorite is Moving Comfort’s Vero. Hint: Moving Comfort has last season’s colors on clearance right now!

Step 4: If you plan on running outside, get a RoadID. If you get into an accident and are able to communicate, emergency responders can access your medical history and emergency contacts. It’s a MUST have! They come in fun colors…mine has three “outfits” pink, purple, and teal. Hehe.

Step 5: Start out slow. I did not start running 3 miles at a time. I used Couch to 5K. It utilizes walk/run intervals to build up endurance. And if you have to repeat weeks, do it! If you go out too fast, you could get shin splits or injure yourself worse. There are several apps, including a couple of free ones, that you can download on your phone. Or you could print out a workout and just use a stopwatch.

Step 6: Find a race and sign up for it! Once you sign up for a race and pay your race fee, you are locked in to the training plan. It will inspire you to keep at it. My city has a 5K almost every weekend when the weather is ideal. Check with your local running store or running club for upcoming races.

Step 7: Reward yourself. I know I said that running can be an affordable sport, but it doesn’t have to be. Ha! I am addicted to buying running clothes and other goodies. There’s so many things you can treat yourself with and collect over time. Garmin GPS running watch, water bottles, running outfits, fun socks, compression gear, an iPod shuffle, foam roller, race belts. And of course, the biggest reward could be clothes in a size or two smaller.

So lace up your shoes, get outside, and give running a try. I never thought I would fall in love with running as hard as I did. And maybe you can to…it’ll change your life!

Me after my first timed 5K. My daddy captured this picture. He missed me crossing the finish line…I was just too fast for him. 😉

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday

(Blue hollers “DONE!” from the bathroom. The universal word for “Wipe my butt!”)
Me: Woah…that’s a big turd.
Blue: Thank you.

Blue: I thought you were going to make dinner?!
Me: I am. You wanted breakfast for dinner, so I’m making bacon and eggs, and we can toast bagels.
Blue: That’s it?
Me: Yep. That’s what I would call breakfast for dinner.
Blue: There’s no talking you out of this, is there?

I walk into the bathroom to give the bubs a bath. I find them pinching/scissoring their fingers together in the water.
Brown: Whoever finds the longest one wins!
Me: What are you doing?
Brown: Fishing for mommy hairs.
Me: *rolls eyes*


Brown had a morning birthday party. He got in trouble after lunch for not calming down. Then this happened. Thank goodness for big stuffed bears. Every kid should have one.


Oh, you know. Just Blue sitting in a bucket with his big bear watching TV. This is a common occurrence around here.

Consumer Mom Tuesday: Tervis Water Bottles!

Last year, I read about a study done on water consumption by Americans. It was conducted by the CDC and it really surprised me. 43% of American adults drink less than four cups of water per day, 36% of which drink between one and three cups and 7% drink none. NONE?! None…no water at all…all day long. Seriously…how are they surviving? On pop, coffee, sports drinks, and tea probably. Only 22% drink eight or more cups per day. (A cup is 8oz of water…just for reference sake.)

One of the things that I did way back when I started this weight loss journey was to cut out pop. I still have the occasional can of Coke…my favorite soda. And when we go out to eat, I will sometimes indulge in a fountain drink. I’m also a big coffee drinker, but in the last year I have cut myself down to 1 cup per day, with the occasional afternoon pick-me-up. I also occasionally will hit up Quick Trip for a half and half sweet tea. So…I’m not perfect on water consumption. But I am usually in that 22% listed above, in addition to my coffee and occasional pop indulgence.

Since I started running though, water has become a vital part of my nutrition plan. If I skimp on the water over the weekend, my Monday runs are tough. I have to be diligent to stay hydrated, especially on my rest days when my thirst cues aren’t always as apparent. I use two tools to help me remember to drink water.

One of them is my FitBit which has a water tracker on it. I’ve got a blog post in the works on living the FitBit life. The other tool is my Tervis water bottles.

I’d take pictures of the actual water bottles, but they are in the dishwasher. My Runner Girl one has a pink lid, because the first time I used it, I dropped it walking out the door. It hit the baseboard of our front door just right and cracked all to pieces. Thankfully you can buy new lids. Don’t drop your Tervis water bottle!

They hold 20oz, so three of these puppies will get you pretty darn close to your daily recommended water intake. But my favorite thing about them is that they seal. You can shake them, turn them upside down, and throw them in a tote bag and they won’t leak! I also like the hole on the lid. I can hook a finger in it and still manage to carry all of the rest of my stuff and my kids stuff to and from the car.

So hit up Tervis.com and check out all their fun designs. Bed Bath & Beyond also carries them in their stores. If you like the owl one above snatch it up SOON at BB&B. It’s discontinued by Tervis and they will no longer be making it.

Here’s the other two I am lusting over. And maybe one with 13.1 on it after May 4th. 🙂

Disclaimer: I was not provided with these products for the sake of a review. I purchased them or received them as a gift from a family member or friend.

Trying something new

Ok folks…

I am tired of the sporatic blog posts that have been happening around here lately. I need some direction, so I’ve created themes for each day of the week and I’m hoping I can stick to them. I have all these ideas in my head and I think of them will fit into these categories/themes.
 
Mondays-
HDYDI? – How do you do it?
I get asked this all the time. How do I juggle everything? Work, running, kids, husband, house. I’ll post recipes, household tips, organization tips…that kind of thing.
 
Tuesdays-
Consumer Mom
I know we are not supposed to be material. I know we are not supposed to base our self worth on the amount of stuff we have. But, darn it, I like to shop! I like trying new products. I REALLY like workout gear. I’ll use this day to post reviews or check-this-out posts of stuff I’ve purchased recently.
 
Wednesdays-
Not So Wordless Wednesdays
I’ll post funny things my kids did for the week. And since I’m not good at not using words…it’ll be not-so-wordless.
 
Thursdays-
Runnerd, Geek Out!
I LOVE to talk about running. I’ll share my tips, my gear recommendations, and my annecdotes about running.
 
Fridays-
Let’s Relax!
Friday is currently my long run day, but after that is my official RELAX day. I’m an avid reader and a big TV/movie/Netflix fan. Here I’ll share what I’m reading and what I’m watching.
 
Saturdays-
Week in Review
Self explanatory.
 
Sunday-
A Look Ahead
It’s more for me than you. A look ahead at my week. This will force me to sit down every Sunday with my calendar and see what I have to do. It could be entertaining as well when I realize I have to do certain things that week that I wasn’t expecting.
 
How does that sound? Good? Good.